Several ships have recently been questioned for incorrect use of ‘not under command’ (NUC) signals whilst drifting and waiting for a pilot to board.
The circumstances illustrated in the new loss prevention poster by the Britannia P&I Club are; it is dusk and the ship is proceeding in heavy traffic; the red flashing instrument panel alarm notifies the bridge team that the rudder gear has failed; the engine room telegraph has been put to ‘stop engines’; the ship is making 12.5 knots; NUC lights (two all round red lights in a vertical line) and the port and starboard sidelights together with the white stern lights are being displayed. The officer of the watch is calling the local coastguard to appraise them of the situation, he also explains his intention to switch off the stern and sidelights (leaving the two all round red lights displayed) when no longer making way.
As soon as the main engine, steering gear or other deficiency is repaired the ship should turn off NUC lights (or lower the daytime signal – two black balls in a vertical line) and proceed with normal ‘power driven vessel’ lights in accordance with collision regulation steering and sailing rules for a power driven vessel.
Thank you & Best Regards,
Eng. Dimitrios Nikolaos Spanos
Lead Maritime Auditor / Principal Surveyor
Member of IRCA, IIMS, ELINT, HELMEPA & Nautical Institute